Delhi : The National Water Resource Council has adopted the National Water Policy (2012). The consensus in this regard was made during 6th meeting of the council held here in New Delhi under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Dr. Man Mohan Singh.
This has been stated by the Union Water Resource Minister Shri Harish Rawat while addressing the media persons today itself. Shri Rawat said earlier there were apprehensions expressed by some of the States about the proposed National Water Framework Law and it was apprehended that it would infringe upon the rights of the States on water. Some States suggested that principles for allocation of river water be laid down. Reservations were expressed by States on Inter Basin Transfer of water. Many States called for speedy resolution of inter State disputes.
However, after elongated discussions there were broader consensus on the issues of community management of water resources, climate change adaptation strategy particularly increasing water storage through revival of traditional water harvesting structures and water bodies and efficient use of water, Shri Rawat added. He said states have been assured that the proposed National Water Framework law and the law on River Basin Management would be drafted only after extensive consultation with States so as to ensure that the powers of the States are not curtailed in any manner. He he said we have also proposed consideration of a National Policy Guidelines for water allocations in the next meeting of the Council.
Earlier in the morning session, Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister presided over the 6th Meeting of the National Water Resources Council. Delivering his opening remarks, the Prime Minister stated that the National Water Policy (2012) was an effort to focus on the human cause in the water sector and would lay a road map for the future based on the fundamental principles of equity, sustainability and good governance. He called for a paradigm shift in the approach for judicious and wise management of scarce water resources. Recalling the deliberations in the National Development Council meeting held yesterday, he stated that outlays for the water sector had been increased substantially and this need to be matched with equally effective outcomes through better management.
Later, explaining the salient features of the draft Policy, Shri Harish Rawat, Minister of Water Resources said that the draft National Water Policy (2012) was the result of wide consultations held with all the stakeholders including consultations with Members of Parliament, academia, NGOs, corporate sector and Panchayati Raj Institutions. Enumerating the challenges in the water sector, he called for an integrated approach of governance based on certain basic principles so that concerns get addressed adequately in the different parts of the country ensuring equity and social justice.
The National Water Resources Council meeting was attended by several Chief Ministers, Union Ministers and State Ministers. Chief Ministers of Assam, Punjab, Mizoram, Goa, Maharashtra, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Jharkhand and Governor of Punjab and Administrator of Union Territory of Chandigarh participated in the Meeting. Several States were represented by their Ministers who also spoke during the Council meeting.